When browsing on the internet, we often see banner messages about “cookies”. But what are they? When you are viewing a website, cookies are small files that are sent and stored by your web browser on your PC, for example Google Chrome or Internet Explorer. These files, called “cookies”, contain data about your browsing history, so when you return back to the website, it can remember what you did on the website last time.
Cookies are extensively used for direct advertising too. Websites that put a cookie on your computer are able to track your browsing history. For example, if you view clothing products online, this information is stored in a cookie file. The website that put the cookie on your computer would now have access to your history and they’ll know you are interested in products like this. The next time you visit the website it may give you recommendations to products that are similar or related to your past searches in the hope that you will be interested and buy it. That’s why when you look at something on Amazon, on your next visit Amazon displays the related products right on their front page, just for you.
Cookies are not considered dangerous or harmful to you or your computer. They are a way for websites to gather information to give visitors personal experience. However some do prefer to disable and delete cookies because they either do not feel they need or do not want their personal information shared and tracked.